California Sea Grant welcomes 23 recipients into the prestigious 2021 State Fellowship. This opportunity provides fellows with unparalleled and hands-on training at the interface of science, communication, policy, and management at either a municipal, state, or federal host agency in California for one year.
The 2021 State Fellows represent 14 agencies and organizations throughout California. The fellowships will continue to be transformed by COVID-19 regulations in different ways based on where they are placed, and many fellows will engage remotely. All will continue to have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in their fields.
“I am excited to see the opportunities awaiting the 2021 State Fellows,” says California Sea Grant Director Shauna Oh. “They bring multifaceted backgrounds and experiences, and the fellowship program will provide them with training and knowledge to jumpstart their careers in coastal and marine policy. Thanks to our growing network of California agencies, this program prepares some of the best young minds to become future leaders in coastal and marine policy.”
This group of fellows brings diverse experience in the realms of environmental policy and management, marine and watershed science, biology and ecology, fishery and aquaculture regulation marine biodiversity and conservation, sustainable seafood, resource management, environmental systems, stormwater runoff management, sea-level rise adaptation, and coastal climate change adaptation.
Source: California Sea Grant
America’s waters are largely unknown, with vast areas still unmapped. Only 46 percent of U.S. ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters are mapped to modern standards.
New and expanded NOAA partnerships can help fill these gaps, supporting a national strategy to completely map U.S. deep water by 2030 and nearshore waters by 2040. This year, NOAA and eight ocean partners agreed to explore, characterize and share ocean data, helping to close gaps in mapping the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and build understanding about remote global areas.
General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Natural Earth
NOAA’s partnership with Vulcan, Inc. recognizes that filling data gaps is a call to action. Since sound data underlie sound policy, robust data are essential to knowing how well ocean strategies and policies are working.
Seeing foundational data as a game-changer, NOAA and Vulcan look forward to jointly pursuing research aimed at advancing technologies to better understand the deep ocean.
Shared interests include NOAA science and data-collection capabilities and Vulcan's investments in incubating technologies and tackling a range of environmental issues.
Scientists deploy a Deep Argo float, which profiles 3.7 miles deep, taking temperature and salinity on the way down. Other Argo floats measure on the way up to the surface. Some also measure nitrate, oxygen and other chemical elements.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., is the newest member of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) Leadership Council, a bipartisan group of senior leaders who work with local, state, and regional leaders to develop actions toward meaningful ocean policy reform.
Robinson, whose work as a scientist and on the environment impressed the group, participated in his first Leadership Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
The 20-member Leadership Council is co-chaired by former EPA administrator and ex-New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and former California Congressman Norman Mineta and includes former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The group’s Ocean Action Agenda details ocean and coastal policy actions that should be taken by the Trump Administration and Congress. JOCI leaders assert that taking these actions will allow present and future generations of Americans to benefit from the jobs, food, health, recreation, and overall well-being America’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes provide.
Robinson’s work as an academic and a scientist addresses the fate of the waterways. He is the director and principal investigator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME).
The CCME is a partnership among six universities committed to making major impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems and communities by educating underrepresented minorities in NOAA relevant science and policy.
Robinson is also a member of the U.S. Congress authorized STEM Education Advisory Panel which was established “to provide advice and recommendations to the Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM),” among other responsibilities.
During the Obama administration, Robinson was an assistant secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management at NOAA.
Dr. Richard McLaughlin has served as the Institutional PI for TAMUCC since the inception of CCME in 2016. He currently supervises two Ph.D.-level CCME Student Scholars, Elizabeth Del Rosario, who is researching how freshwater environmental flows into Texas Bays are being managed; and Anthony Lima, who is examining policies and planning efforts relating to oyster aquaculture in Texas. In addition to participating in the Coastal Resilience, Place-based Conservation, and Social Sciences Focus Areas, he has helped organize and served as a faculty member at the Center-wide Core Competency Courses in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 2017 and South Padre Island, Texas in 2019.
He also served as a Co-Convener of a session that highlighted CCME students and faculty entitled Educational Partnerships in Coastal and Marine Science at the 25th Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Conference, Mobile, Alabama, November 3-7, 2019. He plans to retire at the end of the Fall 2020 semester and to move to his family home in San Diego, California. He will continue to serve on several graduate committees and collaborate with colleagues at CCME and elsewhere across the globe after he retires.
Dr. McLaughlin has been instrumental to the success of students at TAMUCC and across CCME as well. He provided intelligent prospectives and insights that contributed to the growth of CCME and could be counted on for his active engagement.